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Fareisa Joemmanbaks.jpgL.F.Ramdat Misier.jpg
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Suriname: Netherlands:
Caribbean Hindustani/Bhojpuri/Sarnami, Hindi, Dutch, Sranan Tongo and various other languages
Hinduism, Islam,
Roman Catholicism and Protestantism
Related ethnic groups
Indo-Aryan peoples

Indo-Surinamese are nationals of Suriname of Indian or other South Asian ancestry. After the Dutch government signed a treaty with the United Kingdom on the recruitment of contract workers, Indians began migrating to Suriname in 1873 from what was then British India as indentured labourers, many from the modern-day Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and the surrounding regions. Just before and just after the independence of Suriname on 25 November 1975 many Indo-Surinamese emigrated to the Netherlands.


Indo-Surinamese are also known locally as Hindoestanen (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌɦɪnduˈstaːnə(n)]), a Dutch word derived from Hindustani, a Persian / Hindi / Bhojpuri word for someone from Hindustan (India). Hence, when Indians migrated to Suriname they were referred to as Hindustanis, people from Indian origin.

During the heyday of the British Raj/Empire, many people from India were sent to other British colonies for work. After the abolition of slavery in the Dutch colony of Suriname, the Dutch were allowed by the British Raj to recruit labourers in certain parts of the North-Indian United Provinces.


The majority religion among the community is Hinduism, practiced by the majority (70%) of the people, followed by Islam and Christianity. Among the Hindus about 60% follow traditional Hinduism that they call Sanatan Dharm to differentiate themselves from the 25% who belong to the reform movement Arya Samaj, started by Dayananda Saraswati. Among the Indian Muslims, 60% follow Sunni Islam and 40% Ahmadiyya.

Notable Indo-Surinamese[edit]


See also[edit]

External links[edit]